For the past 6 years – progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann has had a segment every Friday called “Brunch with Bernie” where Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gets to speak to the issues of the day; on January 4th – Senator Sanders went after corporate welfare. There are very few Senators who actually go out of their way to attack corporate power; most of them are afraid to because they need great sums of money to compete in their next election. This is just another example of why Bernie Sanders is my favorite Senator – the guy really has integrity … AND he’s an Independent.
Mitch McConnell was on the floor of the Senate saying the revenue discussion is over. Well, not for me. The truth of the matter is that right now you have one out of four profitable corporations in America paying zero in federal taxes. The percentage of revenue that we get compared to GDP today in corporate taxes is much much lower than it used to be. As I mentioned many times, we’re losing one hundred billion dollars a year from corporations and wealthy individuals who stash their money in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. We have just enormous loopholes that corporations and wealthy people continue to take advantage of.
So where we are at Tom, right now is a huge and very very significant philosophical debate. And that is whether or not we cut programs that working families and lower income people desperately depend upon, or whether we ask the wealthiest people and largest corporations all of whom are doing very very well to start paying their fair share of taxes. And I would remind every listener, and this is not talked about too much in Congress or certainly not in the media, that the United States not only has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on Earth. But also it is as bad today as it was, it is worse today than at any time since the late 1920s. Please remember that the top one percent in America owns forty two percent of the wealth. The bottom sixty percent own 2.3%
While Republicans focus on cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – they refuse to address tax giveaways that allow corporations that make BILLIONS in profits to avoid paying taxes and in some cases actually getting tax refunds paid for by the American taxpayer. As Slate shows – this is a concerning trend that has only gotten worse HERE:
Now – when it comes to corporate welfare – this is definitely an issue that both Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on. There are no shortage of politicians willing to get on their knees for a few thousand dollars in corporate donations in return for some tax preference that benefits the corporation. Remember – you’ll hear the words “loophole” but in reality – most of these tax preferences aren’t accidents. These aren’t “loopholes” that corporations were able to wiggle around; no. These were carefully crafted giveaways to corporations that were in many cases actually written directly by the corporation lobbying for the tax preference.
This reduction in corporate taxes directly correlates to investing in a lobbyist; it remains one of the best investments a company can make. A recent study showed the return on investment for multinational corporations was 22,000%. That’s not a typo. NPR has the story HERE:
The American Jobs Creation Act benefited hundreds of multinational corporations with a huge, one-time tax break. Without the law, companies that brought profits earned abroad back to the U.S. had to pay a tax rate of 35 percent. With the law, that rate dropped to just over 5 percent. It saved those companies billions of dollars.
In a recent study, researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz calculated the total amount the corporations saved from the lower tax rate. They compared the taxes saved to the amount the firms spent lobbying for the law. Their research showed the return on lobbying for those multinational corporations was 22,000 percent. That means for every dollar spent on lobbying, the companies got $220 in tax benefits.
H/T to PoliticusUSA
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